9. Help them see the value of Old Testament stories is rooted in the narrative, not the historical reliability.
Fundamentalism (and even many atheists) view Scripture and our faith as a house of cards. If Jonah didn’t really live in the belly of a fish for three days, we can’t trust anything else it says, either. If any of it is historically untrue, it all belongs in the trash.
Unfortunately, that’s a very unenlightening way to read Scripture. It’s not even what the authors intended to convey; they weren’t recording history by Western standards, but were engaged in a process of making meaning.
As we raise Formerly Fundie kids, we must help them see that our faith and Scriptures aren’t a house of cards at all. They are stories filled with intrigue and lessons that are still as valuable today as they were back then.
8. Teach them the Bible is an inspired story of God revealing himself to us, but it’s not an owner’s manual for life.
So many of us grow up being taught that the Bible works as an owner’s manual, but as we get older we come to the realization that the Bible simply doesn’t work that way.
Yes, the Bible progressively reveals to us what God is like. Yes, the Bible ultimately shows us that God’s true identity is the character revealed in Jesus. And yes, we are taught to live like Jesus and follow him.
But no, the Bible doesn’t answer all of life’s questions. It doesn’t tell us what to do in every situation we find ourselves in. The Bible simply doesn’t work that way.
Realizing the Bible doesn’t work as an owner’s manual has the potential to be discouraging, but when we help our kids see that the story is one of a progressive revelation that ultimately introduces us to Jesus, we’re invited to begin asking a different set of questions about how to live life well.